Farewell Letter from Dean White
Dear E. J. Ourso College Alumni and Friends,
As you may know, June 30 was my last day as the dean of the college. After eight years as dean and 22 years at LSU, I have retired with bittersweet feelings of gratitude and sadness. I want to thank all who entrusted me to lead this institution through some challenging times. It has been an honor and pleasure.
During my tenure as dean, the E. J. Ourso College has seen many significant accomplishments, and some of my proudest include:
- Dramatically improving how we support our students by opening the Office of Business Student Success, aka OBSS. This office provides centralized services like academic counseling, career coaching, professional development, diversity and inclusion programming, and much more. OBSS is a triumph for me and the college, and we are genuinely OBSESSED.
- We’ve increased our academic offerings to make our students more competitive. Over the last years we have launched a very successful online MBA; a paired BS degree in entrepreneurship; a masters in analytics; a master’s in financial economics; minors in energy studies; analytics; and international business; and a concentration in digital marketing. Our new Professional Sales institute has proved a stunning success in giving our students cutting-edge salesmanship skills.
- Our faculty have won numerous awards and published noteworthy research, all while educating the next generation of business leaders. It’s been my great pleasure to serve with some of the most talented educators in this field.
- Our incredible students never cease to impress me. I’ve watched as they represented the college in countless competitions, conventions, and international trips. They win awards and scholarships for excellence in the classroom and community. They’ve started businesses as students that continue to flourish well after graduation. And most recently, I’ve watched as they adapted effortlessly to the conversion to online classes due to the global pandemic—their resilience and passion for learning are why I’ve continued for all these years.
I’m leaving the college in good hands. The brilliant and dedicated faculty and staff, led by Dr. Jared Llorens as interim dean, will no doubt continue to thrive even in times of uncertainty. It’s a new era for change, and the college has one direction to go – forward.
As an emeritus faculty member, I will closely watch the college grow and excel. I plan to continue my research and writing, as well as spend much-deserved family time with my wife Cindy and our children.
Finally, I am overwhelmed by a feeling of gratitude for you. As a college, we are fortunate to be represented by so many gifted alumni and supporters who are engaged and passionate. I appreciate all that you do and have done for the college. I ask that you continue to stay involved and support the efforts of our faculty and students.
The E. J. Ourso College of Business is indeed a very special institution, and I am blessed to have served here. Thank you, and Geaux Tigers!
Richard D. White Jr.